Biden to end Trump-era policy of familial DNA testing at border to prevent child trafficking, fraudulent entry

May 25, 2023
Ben Marquis

Among the several border security and immigration policies implemented under the Trump administration was one that tested the DNA of newly arrived migrant families to determine if the purported parents and children were, in fact, actually related.

That seemingly common-sense policy will now end in a matter of days under the Biden administration, according to a leaked memo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Conservative Brief reported.

According to some critics, the end of that Trump-era familial DNA testing program could result in a surge of child trafficking for sex and labor as well as the fraudulent use of unrelated children by migrants seeking to gain illegal entry into the country.

Familial DNA testing program to end

Just the News, which first obtained the leaked CBP memo, reported that the familial DNA testing program had been created under former President Donald Trump in response to a court ruling against the prior family separation policy as well as evidence that the Mexican cartels were exploiting children to create fake "families" of illegal aliens to cross the border successfully.

However, per the leaked memo dated May 19, the federal contract with the company that provided and analyzed the DNA swab tests is set to expire at the end of the month and will not be renewed or replaced.

The subject line of the single-page CBP memo reads: "End of Contract for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Testing for Suspected Family Unit Fraud."

"The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) familial DNA contract with BODE Technologies will end on May 31, 2023 and all familial DNA testing will conclude on that date," the memo stated. "Buccal swab samples may still be submitted to BODE Technologies through the end of the contract, but any samples submitted afterward will not be analyzed."

The memo went on to note that the familial DNA testing was separate from the FBI's "booking DNA collection" and that the end of the contract with BODE would not "impact collections as part of the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) program which should continue uninterrupted."

Evidence of the program's necessity

The Western Journal reported that in 2019, then-Acting Homeland Security Sec. Kevin McAleenan had testified to the Senate about a DNA testing pilot program which found that around 15 percent of supposed migrant families were actually fraudulent and had no relations between the adults and children.

Other media reports at that time suggested that the instances of migrant familial fraud were likely closer to 30 percent and that there were at least 1,000 such cases per year.

There were credible claims from McAleenan that smuggling cartels were knowingly exploiting children as a "passport to migration" into the U.S. for unrelated adults, as well as reports of specific instances of so-called "child recycling rings" in which the same child was used repeatedly to help dozens of unrelated adults gain fraudulent entry.

The acting secretary also shared reports of young children essentially being rented out to others by their actual parents for a monetary fee or waiver of their debts to cartel smugglers.

Congress must act immediately

This is all quite horrifying, if true, and likely will contribute to and facilitate an increase in child trafficking and the exploitation of children by cartels and unrelated adults to fraudulently gain entry into the U.S., as some critics have predicted.

Hopefully, Congress will take note of this development and intervene legislatively to either force CBP to renew the contract or find a different vendor to provide the same services, impose new screening procedures to guard against child trafficking and familial fraud, and investigate who is responsible for the purpose of accountability.

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